The first ever “negra” Media Luna

La primera guitarra negra de Media Luna. Felipe CondeLittle did we know that upon an unannounced visit of an older, and very elegant, lady in late winter this year, we would make an important discovery related to the flamenco history of our workshop. She brought with her an old grey guitar case decorated with a multitude of colorful Cuban cigar bands. She told us she was the daughter of a flamenco guitarist Pepe de Badajoz and that the guitar belonged to her late father. Pepe de Badajoz was brother to Manolo de Badajoz and uncle to Justo de Badajoz, masters of the purest flamenco of their time. As we opened the case, inside lay a flamenco negra, with a spruce top and rosewood back and sides, a concert grade guitar sporting the Media Luna shape on its headstock. The real surprise came as we examined the label which read: “Vda. y Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso. Luthiers. Gravina 7. Madrid (signed by the Conde brothers) year: 1952.”

This was the first time we encountered a concert level flamenco guitar with a Media Luna headstock built prior to 1953. We always knew that the celebrated headstock design, so connected to the modern flamenco world, was developed in the beginning of the 1950’s, but somehow, the use of this design was always linked to the 1960’s when it seems to have become generalized for top notch flamenco guitars. We had in our hands the possibly first ever documented flamenco concert guitar with the Media Luna headstock and the back and sides in rosewood.

The guitar was very well conserved by its owners preserving all the original parts, it barely had any ware and tare and most importantly, it has this typical well rounded sound of the old days so characteristic of our guitar from that time.

Felipe Conde Jr. examined the guitar together with his father and they both fell in love with it immediately. They decided they had to acquire this extraordinary find needless to say. Felipe Conde Jr. insisted he personally acquired this guitar as the very first guitar in his own personal collection which he intends to build on. He scrapped the money he had saved from the sale of some of the guitars he had built and acquired this guitar from Pepe de Badajoz’ daughter who was more than happy that the guitar finally made a full circle and came back to its birthplace.

We are very glad to share this wonderful story with our readers as well as the several photos of the guitar that’s on display now here at our workshop.

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